Recipes To Avoid Energy Slumps
Everyone's familiar with the 3 p.m. slump. It can sneak up on you during work in the form of fatigue, cravings and a dramatic drop in energy. You could grab a second or third cup of coffee or head for the vending machine for a quick sugar spike, but these quick-fixes will just leave you feeling even worse later on.
To try and prevent the energy slump from happening in the first place, consider incorporating foods that will give you long-lasting energy throughout your day. There are plenty of energy-boosting foods that are healthy and nutritious without sacrificing on flavor.
There's a reason you see so many athletes with protein shakes. Shakes are a quick, portable option to get in all the proteins and nutrients you need to power through your day. You can opt for pre-made shakes or go for protein powder such as Power Life by Tony Horton to make your own.
Although protein's main role is to build muscle, it also slows down sugar absorption, meaning you won't have a sugar crash later on. Another benefit of protein is that it's slow to digest, meaning you'll be fuller longer.
If you're looking to make your own protein shake, try blending a scoop of protein powder and a cup of frozen fruit with the liquid of your choice. You can add more liquid or add ice until you reach your desired consistency. To add even more energy-boosting goodness, try topping it with a superfood like hemp hearts or chia seeds.
As the name suggests, energy balls are a great source of long-lasting energy. There's no baking required and most of the ingredients are pantry staples; plus, they're small and easy to take on the go.
Energy balls' main ingredient is oats, which is a complex carb. This means it's slow to digest and doesn't give you a quick blood sugar spike, instead supplying you with energy evenly throughout the day. Oats contain a myriad of other health benefits, too.
Many energy ball recipes also include healthy mix-ins like flax seeds, which contain omega-3 fatty acids to boost energy.
To make energy balls, simply add oats, nut butter, a liquid sweetener like honey or maple syrup, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to a bowl. Many recipes suggest at least 2 "power mix-ins" such as seeds or more oats. For more mix-ins, you can get creative by adding coconut, chocolate chips, raisins or chopped nuts.
Make sure the dough can hold together when lightly squeezed before placing it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and roll the dough into balls. You can enjoy them immediately or keep them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or frozen up to three months.
If you're looking for a lunch to help you avoid a sluggish afternoon, Buddha bowls are totally customizable and full of nutrients to help you power through your day. These bowls are typically made with whole grains, veggies and some sort of sauce.
Start by choosing a whole grain. Whole grains are a vital source of energy because they digest slowly, keeping you fuller longer, and don't spike your blood sugar. Popular options include quinoa, bulgur or brown rice.
Try adding a leafy green, like spinach or kale and some energy-boosting veggies, like edamame, snow peas or carrots.
Although fats get a bad name, healthy fats are essential for energy, so try adding in nuts or avocados to help keep you going.
The more colorful your bowl, the more diverse the nutrients, so don't be afraid to add in fresh fruits or garnishes.
Finish it off with a vinaigrette or peanut sauce and toss all your ingredients together.
Whether you're just looking for a quick pick-me-up snack or a full meal to avoid the midday slump, there are many healthy and delicious recipes to choose from to give you the energy you need for your day.